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The CPI(M)  General Secretary Sitaram Yechury  and the CPI General Secretary S.Sudhakar Reddy have issued the following statement On the Current Events in the Kashmir Valley

The state of Jammu & Kashmir has been a part of India ever since the
accession of the state to the Indian Union in October 1947. Throughout the
chequered history of the past six decades, Kashmir has been not just a
territorial dispute for India but a test of the secular, democratic and
federal nature of the Indian Republic.

For the past nearly two months Kashmir has been in turmoil.  Since the
killing of Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Commander, the people in the Valley have
been out on the streets in mass protests. More than 70 people have died in
the firing by the security forces and a few thousand have been injured. Two
security personnel have also lost their lives. Pellet guns used by the
security forces have blinded and maimed many.  Instead of quelling the
protesters, it only intensified with each death and injury in police firing.
The main force driving these protests are the youth. These mass protests
that have spread into rural Kashmir, graphically illustrate the deep sense
of alienation of the people from the Indian State. At no time has the gulf
between India and the Kashmiri people been so wide. This serious situation
calls for an examination of the entire Kashmir problem.

The consistent stand the Left parties have been taking is that Jammu &
Kashmir has a special status which was reflected in the adoption of Article
370 of the Indian Constitution. At the heart of the matter lies how in
letter and spirit its autonomy and special status, eroded over the years,
can be restored. A political agreement must be reached, which should be
acceptable to the people whereby the state of Jammu & Kashmir would remain
as part of the Indian Union but by fulfilling the commitment, made to the
state and the people in 1948.

The entire geo-political situation has changed in the post-independence
decades. A solution to the Kashmir problem has also the dimension of India
and Pakistan discussing to settle long standing disputes.

These immediate steps must begin by taking certain confidence building
measures:

*       The first of these must be the immediate cessation of the use of
pellet guns.
*       Secondly, withdraw the AFSPA and the army from the civilian areas.
*       Thirdly, order a judicial enquiry into all instances of excesses
committed by the armed forces against civilians.
*       Fourthly, adequate compensation to all families who have suffered
loss of lives and rehabilitation of the injured by ensuring their means of
livelihood must be undertaken immediately.
*       Fifthly, time bound projects for economic development and employment
generation, including transfer of Dulhasti and Uri power projects; opening
of an IIM and IIT in Srinagar.

Further, the initiation of the political dialogue must not be based on any
preconditions.  The earlier recommendations of the various working groups
and the report of the team of interlocutors appointed after the visit of the
all party delegation in 2010 following the then disturbances must be kept in
consideration.

The Left parties suggest the following necessary steps at for arriving
towards a political solution in the current concrete circumstances:

a.    The internal dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu & Kashmir should
proceed on the basis reversing the erosion of Article 370. The three regions
of the state, Jammu, the valley and Ladakh, should have autonomous
structures within the State of Jammu & Kashmir. This will entail changes in
the constitutional and legal scheme which can begin by revising the existing
orders and laws. Ultimately, a fresh political framework should emerge.

b.    The second dimension is the India-Pakistan factor. Since 2014 India
has been adopting a blow hot-blow cold policy towards a comprehensive
dialogue with Pakistan. This Government of India had announced that this
dialogue will also deal with the question of Kashmir, the government must
carry forward this process safeguarding India’s interests and ensure that
Pakistan is brought to the discussion table.

The people in the rest of the country are being fed various stereotypes
about the Kashmiri people. Kashmiris are being depicted as secessionists,
terrorists and pro-Pakistan. This must be put to an end. Reports of attacks
on Kashmiri youth in other parts of the country must be immediately
investigated and culprits punished.

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